Over my head

On Saturday, after experiencing all those emotions about finding Nana’s family on Facebook, we went back to life as usual.  We were planning to go to the circus after Nana woke up from her nap.  But that day, Nana woke up with an attitude.  She cried as she woke up (on her own), cried when she went to the potty, cried as I washed her up, cried as I combed her hair.  And not just a mew, mew, mew cry, but an out and out scream cry complete with repeatedly saying, ‘I want my Daddy!!”

And I just. couldn’t. take it.

She was inconsolable and acted like I was harming her…from the moment she woke up.  I have no idea what was wrong with her but she wasn’t having any of me.  She didn’t want hugs, kisses, touches.  She didn’t want me to talk to her.  She just screamed for her father.  I lost it.

I told Wood that the circus was off and to take her away.  She’s calling you over and over, obviously she doesn’t want me so just take her and leave.  I wanted her out of my face. I wanted them to leave.  I wanted my mother. I felt overwhelmed by the screaming and just flat-out REJECTED.

Wood, being the perfect husband and father, took Nana for a ride to Target. I took off my clothes and sunk into the bed.  Tears.

I called my mother and my mother-in-law just to get their stories of feeling like you had enough.  Neither one of them answered.

More tears.

The rest of the evening and the next day, I was a mess.  It became clear to me this weekend that I needed a self-care regimen.  I needed to make time for myself on a regular basis and to be honest, talking to a counselor wouldn’t hurt.  A two-year-old doing two-year-old things shouldn’t have made me take to my bed for the rest of the weekend.  I felt like a woman in a novel from the early 1900’s – “taken to her bed.”  Where they do that at?

When Nana wakes up from her nap on Sunday, it’s just mother and daughter in the house.  I’m wary about how this is going to go since she has been stuck to her father like glue all weekend.  I drag myself from my bed and go into her room.  She immediately says, “I need a hug.  I want a kiss.”  She’s especially touchy, sitting right next to Mommy, hooking her arm through mine in unnatural ways in order to stay close to me.  Clearly she feels the distance between us and wants her Mommy back.  I give her all the hugs and all the kisses because I need the distance to dissipate also.  We play and giggle and then go to do our favorite bonding activity.  Cooking – me with real food, her with Playdoh.  Wood returns to laughter and hugs and a home-cooked Sunday dinner of smothered pork chops, turnip greens and a salad.  All is well again between his girls so he’s good.

Except that it isn’t.  This is the second time that I’ve had one of these episodes and it scares me.  As the adult, I should be able to pull back my emotions and just deal with what was essentially a tantrum.  But instead, I pulled back and depended completely on Wood to handle everything.  I sometimes feel like maybe I am over my head with this motherhood thing.

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8 thoughts on “Over my head

  1. Oh dear! It’s normal. It’s normal. Keep telling yourself that. It’s normal for bios and for adoptive parents. Yes, to the counselor–stat! And yes to more self- care. As I was reading this, I was thinking about my post about when I took to my bed and Hope looked like Don King in the morning–it happens. Hang in there, you’re doing fabulous! 🙂

  2. Two year olds! Recharge time/self-care is a must! We ‘play tag’. At any point if one of us needs some space we tag the other one ‘it’ and they step in allowing the other one to have a break. Nana may have had a bad dream but because she is so young she is unable to talk about it, all she knew is she needed her Daddy. Big hugs to you. You’re doing a great job.

    • Like you, Wood and I tag each other out everyday. I’m realizing though that I need a more robust self care routine on top of the tagging out.

  3. I know you feel like you did not handle the situation in a good way, and if it helps to talk to the counselor you should do so. Coming from another Mom, and my inexperienced view, you do not seem like you did anything odd.
    We all have those moments and I feel rejected when my son only wants Papa, and I am not even allowed to get him out the car. It is a phase that passes and they become attached to one parent and then to the other.
    I often just need time to myself, and with a toddler it seems impossible and I find myself getting cranky and I need to “take to my bed” I tell hubby I need a moment and I just take time to re-centre. If I am alone, I just stop everything else and give the little one attention, and usually my levels of frustration have a direct result on the toddlers unhappiness. Everyone has bad days, it does not make us bad mothers.

    • Thanks for the affirmation. Intellectually, I knew her screaming for her father was just for the moment but emotionally it didn’t feel great. I’m grateful to have a partner that in parenting that can step in without judgement.

  4. I agree with the idea of playing tag. My husband and I have been doing that for a while and it is a reassuring feeling to know that someone else will take over as needed so I can get a break physically and emotionally.

    And I hear you about feeling rejected. Before Splash came to us she was cared for by her mother and then a lesbian couple. All she knew for 19 months was women. For the most part she has been fine with us, but there have definitely been moments where she’s upset and only seems to find comfort from a nearby female.

    This weekend for example she was throwing a tantrum because my husband and I did not have the energy to carry her through the entire aquarium. She cried and cried and cried. I sat down with her on the floor and talked to her. I tried showing her different fish in nearby tanks. Nothing soothed her until my friend came by and said in her motherly voice, “Do you want to come with me to look at the fish?” Splash stopped crying, hopped up, grabbed my friend’s hand, and off they went to look at fish.

    To counter that example, she does cry out for Daddy or Papa more often than not when she’s upset. When we first got her she would call for Mama when she was crying, but that slowly shifted over to Daddy and Papa. So even if she finds comfort with women from time to time, I know that she has definitely started to see us as her parents. I just hope we stay her parents so she doesn’t have to go through developing this type of bond with someone else all over again.

  5. Yes…as ABM said…normal and normal. I wish I had had someone to tag smh. The wind can blow wrong inside the house and that is enough to set off a fit. My shift started at 7am, had to have her to daycare by 6 am (in the opposite direction), so had to leave out the house by 0540…with a toddler! Oh…..the…..struggles! They will have you thinking you failed…in capital letters. In those moments of high emotions, it’s not so easy to remember all the literature/knowledge of her past and etc. Stinky would have horrible days where I put myself in time out. I dropped her off at my parents AND called off work one day because I just needed to breathe. So, keep your chin up ♡ I believe part of motherhood is being overwhelmed, exhausted and yet full of a special love that seems to justify it all.

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